Trigger Warnings: Spoilers, splitting up the party, bunny slippers, surprise Head Start!
I came into this session knowing that the players are livid at me. “I had a 21 AC,” one said. “I want my bunneh slippers (of Spider Climbing) back, Damnit!” said another. That’s what you get when you make a Metroid-like opener where you let everyone be OP for a bit at the start of the campaign and then strip them of everything! Heh heh heh.
The captivity part in Velkynvelve went through without a hitch, and took most of the one session to do it. I didn’t have them go through any work or much long-winding NPC interaction (a couple of them, Jimjar and Eldeth Feldrun, will be party allies for the time being.) because they wanted to start a fight to distract the drow anyway. At that point, I switched to the right scenario: I have Prince Dremdil and Ront go into a shoving match above Sarith Kazekarit, who started doing the twitchy eyeball that just tells everyone who’s sane that, “Now would be a good time to leave.”
Before anyone could think that, though, Sarith loses his shit, leaping up into the two combatants and tearing into him like a caged animal. That’s when the drow come up with Sleeping Poison needles and blowguns. By the time all three of them were down for the count, they had more needles in them than what every member of the Rolling Stones had in their lifetimes. Each.
I had the drow drag Sarith away to be eaten by the spiders, and the other two NPCs to another hall for entertainment. I start Jorlan’s Gambit at this point, setting the stage for the party’s escape. However, two of the party members, one being a Dragonborn who wants to release some angst, wants to fight them. Oh brudder, now I have a “Spliting up the Party” scenario here. Fortunately I took to this situation quite well, since the two parties are up close and I’ll did some ad libing (and a second lift form the Priestess’s Quarters) to bring them back together asap. However, I did had to score their XP differently. Oh well.
Just before the battle the Dragonborn was in was about to go south, (I don’t want a TPK this early in the campaign) I released the Vrocks (I didn’t show them the Chasm Demons because my brain was still in multi-thread mode, and it’s not that good at that.) which attacked all the Drow, distracting enough for the party to get some much needed weapons, items (including the Bunny Slippers of Spider Climbing) armor, and what not, go down the two lifts to the floor of the chasm, and into the north passage to Blingdenstone (the quickest way out of the Underdark; I always lead into the full adventure in Encounters) just before the drow realize that there’s been a prison breakout while they were busy with the surprise demon attack.
Session 3 will have some Underdark traveling, which will involve my Event Deck mechanic. I thought about having multiple decks for various table, but then I decided that I’d just use one deck for everything. I just need to set it up.
In the meantime, I got the surprise in my In-Box: I got invited into the Head Start of Sword Coast Legends. I dabbled into it for a while, and will continue to do so until I feel accustomed enough to the UI to start streaming sessions there, which will include a recorded play through of the single player campaign with my own characters, some of which will be part of other games. Stay tuned for a more decent depiction of the characters I’ll be making in this all-girl power SCL team.